Know where to go this Easter for health services

Easter is great for enjoying ourselves but if you suffer an injury or become unwell over the bank holiday, do you know where to go to get help?

NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is asking local people to familiarise themselves in advance with what health services are available over the weekend to avoid trips to the Emergency Department for non-emergencies.

Dr Anwar Khan, Waltham Forest CCG Chair, said:

“If you’re lucky enough to have a long weekend, take it easy and have fun. However, if you do fall ill over the bank holiday, it’s important to know where to go to get help, so that you don’t have an unnecessary wait in the Emergency Department.

“We are fortunate in Waltham Forest to have a variety of options for residents that require Urgent but not Emergency care, these options can often be a quicker and more appropriate way to get the help you need.

“Emergency Departments are for serious or life-threatening health problems requiring emergency treatment.”

So, what services are available in Waltham Forest?

24/7 phone first - NHS 111

Before you leave home, you can dial 111 to have your symptoms assessed by the team that includes nurses and paramedics.

The NHS 111 service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is staffed by fully trained advisors and experienced nurses and paramedics who can help people get the right care in the right place.

If you need an urgent appointment with a GP, NHS 111 can book a time for you with the available service to avoid long waits.

Visit a local pharmacy

Most pharmacies in Waltham Forest have a consulting room for privacy and can give advice on things like rashes or colds, or where you are concerned about a new or worsening symptom and would like expert advice. Your pharmacist can offer advice on how to best look after yourself at home with rest and over the counter treatment. There are a number of pharmacies in Waltham Forest that are open on Good Friday, and Easter Sunday and Monday. These details can be found on the NHS Choices website: http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Pharmacy/LocationSearch/10

Go online

The NHS Choices website provides information on health conditions and treatments, and has an online symptom checker. You can find out where you can go to get help as well as get information about how to manage your symptoms at home.

Walk-in service

The Oliver Road walk-in service is a GP led service which can treat minor illnesses that are urgent, but not life threatening. The Oliver Road walk-in service is open 8am to 8pm every day of the week, including bank holidays and is located at 75 Oliver Road, Leyton, London, E10 5LG.

Weekend GP and nurse appointments

Waltham Forest have GP and practice nurse appointments available every Saturday and Sunday by calling 020 8519 3999.

Whipps Cross Urgent Care Centre

Based at the Whipps Cross Hospital site, this is a very busy centre and those presenting with non urgent symptoms may be redirected to an alternative service. 

Please note that due to the higher level of urgency the public are advised to call NHS 111 for assessment prior to attending as long waits may be avoided.

The aim is to ensure that those attending with more severe symptoms are seen more quickly, diagnosed, treated and discharged or if necessary admitted directly to hospital.

For life threatening emergencies, dial 999, or attend the Emergency Department at Whipps Cross Hospital.